Walker Tolerated Water Pollution As Milwaukee County Exec - - Plans Dirty Water Initiatives Statewide
Ron Seely at The State Journal does a great job in this piece explaining Scott Walker's plans to roll back rules and procedures designed to keep pollutants out of Wisconsin lakes and streams.
So Wisconsin will be open for water pollution - - by design. It's all part of Walker's goal to make Wisconsin more competitive.
Maybe for lake-weed chemical industries, or dead fish haulers.
There is precedent in his record for failing to prevent pollution to water under his control.
Scientists discovered a few years ago that bacteria-contaminated water was flowing across Bradford Beach - - the premier public Lake Michigan beach owned by Milwaukee County.
At the time, Walker had been Milwaukee County Executive for three years.
I wrote an account of the issue in 2005 before it hit the mainstream media.
The polluted water, including the bacteria E. coli., was running out of five Milwaukee County-owned storm water pipe openings, called "outflows," that drained Milwaukee County's Lake Park on the bluff above the beach.
Walker's response - - the County did not have money to do anything about it.
So others stepped in.
The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District provided funds so the beach's sandy areas could be groomed and cleaned.
Private donors contributed more clean-up funds so Bradford Beach could be reclaimed for sunbathers, swimmers and other visitors.
Rain gardens were installed above on the bluff, also with private support, so pollutants could be captured before flowing down to Lake Michigan, and more gardens were put in near the outflows to keep more of the pollutants out of the lake.
Milwaukee County eventually became a partner in these efforts, but Walker did not take the lead - -- even though these assets were under his jurisdiction.
There was a good account last year during the campaign for Governor of the Lake Par/Bradford Beach history, but never got a good airing.
Seely explains that Walker is now willing to tolerate pollution for our waterways equal to what neighboring states approve - - if and when they do - - so we will follow whatever is OK in Iowa or Illinois.
Governance by shoulder-shrug. As happened when Walker was Milwaukee County Exec.
When did that become the Wisconsin way?